The Depot Grille: Lynchburg, Virginia

The Old Freight House in Lynchburg, Virginia, home of the Depot Grille

The city of Lynchburg in the U.S. state of Virginia is a city that has much history, and much of the city’s history is dependent on the railroad to include how the railroad was a major contributor to the Confederate Army to win the battle against the Union Army in the American Civil War.  When you visit Downtown Lynchburg today, the railroad still runs through although they are CSX Trains now.  While you are there, you may notice a little restaurant called the Depot Grille.

Now some of you are saying, “Wait a minute.  Is this one of those restaurants where the founders came up with this crazy idea of a railroad name and tried to make it some kind of a railroad place?”

The answer is no.  This restaurant is a railroad themed place that has a history with the railroad.

When you arrive, you will see that it looks like an old train freight depot.  Why?  Because it was an old train freight depot.  You enter the restaurant, and you see the bar, and you see the interior.  You see the different photos of the trains, and you see a model train designed by a retired Norfolk and Western Railway worker on display.  There is also a small private room that display vintage railroad photos.

Some of you are saying, “That is very nice, but I have been to many restaurants that have photos of trains.  There is nothing special about this place.”

Yes, there is.  The kitchen is not your typical kitchen.

Two Old Box Cars Which Houses the Kitchen

Some of you are saying, “It is a kitchen.  You cook food in the kitchen, and you wash dishes in the kitchen.  There is nothing special about this kitchen.  It is just like any other kitchen in a restaurant.”

Yes, they cook food and wash dishes in this kitchen just as they do in any other restaurant kitchen.  What is special about this kitchen?  It just happens to be in two old boxcars.  Yes, the same boxcars you see on trains except these remain here because without them, the Depot Grille would not have a place to cook food or wash dishes.  The boxcars were used by the Georgia Northern Railroad before being decommissioned and, instead of scraped, were brought here to the Depot Grille.

Opened in 2004, the Depot Grille has been a staple in Downtown Lynchburg.  Along with great food and service, you may see something very special.  How often do you get to have a nice meal and get rewarded by a passing train?  Yes, CSX will gladly compliment your meal.

The Depot Grille is located at 10 Ninth Street in Lynchburg, Virginia next to the waterfront and the active CSX rail line where you also get a view of a fountain that shoots up from an old bridge support situated in the James River.  It is minutes from U.S. Business Route 29 and Virginia Route 163.  Please note that you will need to navigate a steep declining street to the restaurant, but it is worth the drive.  The restaurant is wheelchair accessible, and parking is on site.  You can get information about the menu, the hours, and can how you can book a small private party at https://depotgrille.com/lynchburg/.  Be advised that when you arrive, you may find it hard to leave.  There is also a location in Staunton, Virginia that is also located in an old train freight house.

So, welcome to Lynchburg, Virginia, a city that was saved by the railroad, a city where the railroad is in the heart of the city, and a place where you can eat in a place where the railroad still has a home.

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